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Soil and Water Conservation in China
Zhen LIU
http://www.irtces.org    2004/10/18     


Department of Soil and Water Conservation, Ministry of Water Resources, the People抯 Republic of China

1 SITUATION OF SOIL AND WATER LOSS IN CHINA

China has an area of 9.6 million km2 with high land in the west and low land in the east. Mountains, hills and plateaus account for 2/3 of the total area. Out of the total area, arable land is around 135 million hectares or 14%, forestry is around 167 million hectares or 16.5%, natural grassland is 280 million hectares or 29%, fresh water body is 18 million hectares or 2%, land used for construction is 27 million hectares or 3%. The rest 35% are composed of deserts, gobis, glacier and rocky mountains which are difficult for agricultural use. Most part of China belongs to the east Asian monsoon climate with a sharp temperature difference between the north and south. It is cold and dry in winter due to the Siberia cold current, hot and rainy in summer under the effect of warm and wet monsoon from the southeast of Pacific Ocean. Most of the rain falls in July and August. The annual mean precipitation in various areas differs greatly. The annual precipitation decreases from above 1,500mm in the southeastern coastal areas to below 50mm in the inland northwest gradually. China is one of the countries suffering from most serious soil and water loss in the world. Due to its special natural, geographic, social and economic conditions, soil and water loss has become a major environmental problem. Soil and water loss in China has the following characteristics

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